"A black day for freedom of expression"

by Petra Reski

The investigative journalist and author Petra Reski protests in her blog that the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights represents an attack on freedom of expression. Its ruling hinges on the fact that she used internal documents from the Criminal Investigator’s Office as the source for her story. And Europe’s highest court has now decided – with one dissenting judge – that that is not good enough and a journalist must do his or her own research. As ECPMF has reported, Reski is a brave investigative journalist who has specialised in researching mafia cases.

Petra Reski_2 Petra Reski. (Photo courtesy of Reski, copyright: Shobha)

“I deeply regret this troubling departure from the prevailing understanding of the case-law of this Court“ was Judge Tsotsoria’s comment immediately following the  judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. 

And yes, today was a bad day for the freedom of expression: The judgement that the European Court of Human Rights has passed rejected the appeal of the publishing house Droemer Knaur, according to which the censoring of my book “Godfathers, Pizza Parlors and False Prophets” (Droemer 2008) and the financial compensation of 10 000 Euros violates freedom of expression (European Convention on Human Rights, Art. 10).  I agree with Margit Ketterle, Managing Director at Droemer Knaur: it endangers freedom of expression if journalists and publishing houses are not able to rely on recourse to qualified sources to report on pending criminal cases and journalists are forced to prove in courts that crimes were committed.

I myself feel encouraged to continue writing novels about the mafia in the future. A few weeks ago my latest book „Bei aller Liebe. Serena Vitales dritter Fall“ [Love Notwithstanding; Serena Vitale’s Third Case] was published by Hoffmann&Campe. It’s about how the mafia makes money from refugees.  

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